Here’s a character description that will give you pause: “Lawrence is attached to play Lydie, an educated, headstrong woman who was adopted as a girl by her aunt Virgina and uncle Ernest. She…eventually becomes Ernest’s wife.” Yeah, about that.
Variety reports that Jennifer Lawrence has signed on for the role of Lydie Marland in screenwriter Chris Terrio‘s Ends of the Earth, a fact-based tale that will center on “the controversial love affair between an oil baron and his adopted daughter, which destroys the empire they built together.” However, the Marlands had one hell of a life, and while the particulars of their relationship weren’t necessarily the biggest part of it, it will likely make for some damn fine cinematic drama.
Not familiar with the Marlands? Super, neither are we! But a quick trip to the old Wikipedia thinking engine turns up a ton of facts of note about Lydie and Ernest…
Lydie “was born Lyde Miller Roberts in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, the second child of Margaret Reynolds (Collins) and George Frederick Roberts. Her parents decided to give up her and her brother for adoption as teenagers by their maternal aunt and uncle, Virginia and Ernest Whitworth Marland, who were both childless and fabulously wealthy from his success in the oil business in Ponca City, Oklahoma.” Brutal.
“Two years after Virginia Marland died in 1926, E. W. annulled the adoption of Lydie Roberts Marland and they married. She was 28 and he was 54.” Let’s just take a brief break here to note that Lydie and Ernest were not related by blood – Lydie’s birth mother Margaret and her adopted mother Virgina were sisters. Onward!
“Lydie Roberts Marland enjoyed volatile times and drastic changes in fortune with her husband: he lost much of his money in 1928; she accompanied him to Washington, DC after he was elected to the US Congress in 1932, and to the Oklahoma governor’s mansion as his First Lady in 1934…After his term, they lived in the chauffeur’s cottage of their former mansion and sold the house and grounds. Following his death in 1941, Lydie Marland became more reclusive and in the 1950s disappeared from Oklahoma for more than a decade. She returned to Ponca City for her later years, and succeeded in having the Marlands’ Palace on the Prairies purchased and preserved by the city.”
That’s right – they lost their millions, made it all the way to the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion, and then lived in a goddamn chauffeur’s cottage. Make this movie now!
The film will be produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch for Escape Artists. The Weinstein Company is in final talks to pick up the project. It is slated to begin production next summer.